Vehicle Safety Ratings

Have you seen the new car seat by BRITAX? The Advocate http://www.britaxusa.com/car-seats/advocate-cs, has Side Impact Cushion technology (extra padding on the outer sides of the seat). An upgrade to the internal padding that is part of their Side Impact Protection system.

advocate

I was speaking to a gentleman in his 70’s last night about car seat safety (we delivered him two BRITAX Roundabout car seats for his great grandchildren). He marvelled at the level of safety protecting kids in vehicles today.

A health and safety professional for most of his career, he was impressed with how far safety had come for kids in vehicles. As a former Health & Safety Officer myself, I’m happy to share my knowledge of current safety features with the customers I meet at One Tiny Suitcase www.onetinysuitcase.ca.

Most new parents know where to buy the safest car seat, have learned how to install it correctly and know how to secure theirchild in the seat. But, what vehicle are you putting it into? Was safety high on your list of priorities when picking your current vehicle?

Here is an interesting article that includes a Vehicle Buying Guide and what safety ratings and features to look for when selecting your vehicle.

There’s more to it than just airbags and ABS. Rollover ratings, accident avoidance features and even vehicle weight are all factors in the safety of your vehicle.

dodge caravan crash test

To see how well your vehicle did in Crash Test ratings go to: http://www.safercar.gov/portal/site/safercar/menuitem.13dd5c887c7e1358fefe0a2f35a67789/?vgnextoid=4ecd2bc586d7a110VgnVCM1000002fd17898RCRD

RV Rentals and Car Seat Safety

rv-rentalIt’s that time of year again…time for the RV’s to hit the road. At One Tiny Suitcase we get lots of inquiries from parents travelling to Calgary and Banff from around the world. Many of our international visitors are wanting to rent RV’s, Campers and Motor homes for a trip to the mountains.

One of the most common questions is, “Where can we safely install a car seat in our RV?” In the ‘old days’ us kids were allowed to roam around in the back of a motor home while it barrelled down the highway at 100 miles/hr. Somehow, parents thought that a motor home/rv was safer and provided more protection than a regular car. It turns out, they provide less…

Here are the options that most parents try when installing a car seat in an RV:

  • at the dinette table
  • facing sideways on the sofa
  • up front in the passenger’s seat

The safest option may surprise you.  The danger of installing a car seat at the dinette is that they rarely fit because the table gets in the way AND in most cases the dinettes are only secured to a plywood base in the RV, not the frame like in a car.

A sideways installation in the sofa is not recommended either because most car seats are not rated for crashes when they are installed facing sideways in the vehicle.

So, the best solution here is to install the car seat in the front passenger’s seat BUT you must ensure any passenger side air bags are disabled. And, if you have two children, this solution won’t work for both of them.

Want to know more? Here is an intereting forum about RV safety: http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=17062

Baby Listening Services?

In the last two days I have watched two moms as they have left younger children locked in their vehicles in a parking lot while they took their other children inside for a class. Somehow, I am still surprised when I see this.

Even more surprising was coming across a service called, “Baby Listening”. asleep-baby

Apparently this service is offered at some hotels. Maybe surprised isn’t the word I am looking for…shocked seems like a more appropriate response.

One website described this service: “If you would like a meal on your own in the evening while your baby (hopefully!) sleeps peacefully upstairs, go for a hotel that offers a baby-listening service. This usually means that someone in reception will listen to your baby while you leave the phone off the hook in your room and they will come and find you if your baby becomes unsettled.”

Yes, travelling with children can be tough and yes a nice meal out sounds good, but I just can’t see under what circumstances this sounds like a good idea. Do the hotels not see any liability in charging a desk clerk with the responsibility of listening in for the sounds of a child choking or worse an intruder entering your room?

Madelaine McCann’s parents had hoped to use this service the night their daughter went missing during a family holiday in Portugal http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/maddie/article1081678.ece. It was unavailable at their resort…

I’m sure there is a way to protect the safety of your children and still have an enjoyable vacation. I’ve had many.

Crib Safety

I was surprised by yet another Crib recall this week. From Canada, Stork Craft is recalling over 400,000 cribs for problems with the support brackets that hold the bed base up. This is s similar problem to the one that led to recalls by Delta, Simplicity and others.

As a former Health aCrib Rentalsnd Safety Manager for an International Retailer- I know what goes into the product design, manufacturing and monitoring of Children’s products. Every aspect of the process is tracked. There are bad products on the market that are recalled for safety and quality issues. I also know that good products can be misused, improperly assembled and plain old just wear out.

My focus has always been on injury prevention and I take that part of my job, as a Baby Equipment Rental company (www.onetinysuitcase.ca) owner, very seriously. The cribs we carry in our inventory are not part of this recall. We receive regular updates about product recalls and verify our inventory is current. Each product is inspected for damage, wear and missing parts on every order.

As a Consumer or I urge you to ask questions about the safety of the products you are given when travelling. Whether that is at a 5 Star Resort or at Grandma’s house. It is easy to check if a product has been recalled. You can do an on-line search at Health Canada’s website http://209.217.71.106/PR/home-accueil-e.jsp or the Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prerel.html.